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LA Times says the Kimberly Process is failing

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by kenny, Dec 8, 2009.

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  1. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Dec 11, 2009
    Interesting Ira.
    I have always had an unsettled vibe from what I have learned about the CIA''s role in Africa over my lifetime, and the associations that were made by a once successful listed US diamond company with strong connections to senior US policy makers.
     
  2. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Dec 11, 2009
    In my opinion the problem with Kimberly process punishments is the same problem with the UN and US sanctions they move to slow and often do more harm than good.
    A scalpel used at the right time does more good than a sledge hammer a day late and a dollar short.
     
  3. diagem
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    by diagem » Dec 11, 2009
    And the world keeps spinning....

    http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=29007
     
  4. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Dec 11, 2009
    Cant read it without a login.
     
    


    


  5. diagem
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    by diagem » Dec 11, 2009
    " General Assembly Defeats Request to Strike Israel from KP Resolution



    By Associated Press Posted: 12/11/09 16:03

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    (RAPAPORT) Associated Press: Israel, which will head the Kimberley Process in January, was put on the spot Friday when Syria asked the U.N. General Assembly to delete any mention of that leadership role in a Kimberley Process resolution proposed by Namibia. The United States and other Western nations, in turn, objected to the General Assembly resolution''s failure to censure Zimbabwe, which is accused of exporting "blood diamonds," but they voted for the overall measure.

    The General Assembly suspended its deliberations for consultations Friday morning after the U.S., Canada and Israel challenged the Syrian parliamentary maneuver and expressed confusion over what it meant and what effect it would have. After a recess, the General Assembly reconvened, and the Syrian amendment was defeated 90-6, with 18 abstentions. Iran and North Korea joined Syria and some Arab nations in voting against Israel.


    The Syrian objection came as the Assembly was poised to adopt a Namibia-sponsored resolution welcoming progress over the past year in efforts to cut the trade in "conflict diamonds," which have provoked some of Africa''s most vicious civil wars and rebel movements. The objection was a surprise, never raised before Friday''s vote as a consensus draft resolution was developed.


    Syria objected to a passing reference near the end of the six-page resolution that simply noted that nations involved in the Kimberley Process "selected Israel to chair" their efforts in 2010. The decision was made at an annual meeting in November in Namibia.


    Syria accused Israel of dealing in "blood diamonds" from Cote d''Ivoire to finance arms transactions, an accusation that Israel strenuously denied. Israel is a global trading center for rough diamonds, and was among the founders of the Kimberley Process.


    In late October, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to extend an arms embargo on Cote d''Ivoire and a ban on the export of rough diamonds from that nation for another year as well as travel and financial sanctions on individuals violating human rights and blocking peace.


    U.N. experts recommended that Israel investigate the possible involvement of Israeli nationals and companies in the illegal export of Ivorian diamonds and said Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates should monitor diamond polishing to deter the import and processing of stones from Cote d''Ivoire.


    Another key offender, Zimbabwe, was not criticized in Friday''s General Assembly resolution, an omission that led delegates from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Israel to give speeches expressing their disappointment, saying that while they voted for the resolution they were unable to co-sponsor it due to the hands-off treatment given President Robert Mugabe''s regime.


    Kimberley Process investigators say in a confidential report obtained by The Associated Press that that diamonds mined in Zimbabwe''s Marange fields were dug by virtual slaves who had been told to dig or die, and were smuggled out by soldiers who rape and beat civilians.


    Yet the Kimberley Process decided in November that those gems don''t qualify as "blood diamonds," and instead of sanctioning Zimbabwe gave the country another chance to get its Marange fields under control."




     
  6. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Dec 11, 2009
    It is a report from inside KP meetings covering a lot of disagreement between Syria, Israel and other civilized western countries.
    I do not know why it is password protected - it should be free to air, but i will not post any of it.
     
  7. diagem
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  8. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Dec 11, 2009
    Thanks DG
    There is a little more detail in the Rap article - but the free-bee covers the main issues [​IMG]
     
  9. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Dec 11, 2009
    fyi, it seems the login is arrived at my registering...at no cost. Though, it takes a minute to realize your user name, when registering, is your e-mail address...
     
  10. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 4, 2010
    FOI, an article from Foreign Policy.com, giving perspective and bringing some things forward...

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/12/22/blood_diamonds_are_back?page=0,0

    Snip:

    "Meanwhile, other groups, including Human Rights Watch, are focusing on the one group that has so far been capable of spurring change: consumers. Last month the organization called for a boycott of Zimbabwean diamonds. It was the threat of a boycott that inspired Kimberley''s creation in the first place, and such threats still strike fear into the heart of the diamond industry."
     
    


    


  11. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jan 5, 2010
    Thanks Ira.

    It seems the article missed to mention that the Kimberely Process was never set up to allow ''interference'' within a nation state.
    The veto is totally irrevelant as far as I am aware.
    This is just one of a series of events in Zimbabwae that are abomniable and to level such an article at diamonds and a system that like so many intergovernmental systems has its weaknesses seems like tall poppy bashing.

    What about the UN nuclear commision, wars, atrocities and strife in north east Africa and the associated pirate activities etc?

    I believe more citizens died at the hands of their own governments during the previous century than the total that died in any other previous century. Diamond, gold, oil and a host of other valuable commoditiy''s will always be able to be singled out. But the real problem is humanity (or the lack of it).
     
  12. DiamondFlame
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    by DiamondFlame » Jan 5, 2010
    This is old news, hardly surprising. Crooks will always find away to beat a system. The market has been flooded with ''laundered'' blood diamonds for a long time and nobody''s the wiser. The only way to protect yourself is not to buy any diamonds. Period.
     
  13. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jan 5, 2010
    "flooded"
    ???
    Even Global Witness seems to talk in terms of 1% or so - hardly a flood, and there are plenty of people who are wiser about the scale and work to fix it.

    "protect yourself"
    ???
    I rather thought the issue was to protect the poor people who are being abused and not consumers DF?

    And one thing is certain, if journalists who write these stories were truly able to achieve what seems to be their aim, to stop or reduce sales of diamonds, then there will be a lot more starving people in mining and polishing countries.

    This is a complex issue.
     
  14. DiamondFlame
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    by DiamondFlame » Jan 5, 2010
    It's all a matter or perspective. 1% of a multi billion dollar industry is still a flood to me, considering the exploited slaves/children we're trying to protect. And this 1% is what they can identify which in black markets usually represent just the tip of the iceberg. At the rate diamonds change hands acrosss borders/markets, I seriously doubt if Global Witness is able to keep up. There are huge players in this game with considerable resources so I'd take these statistics with a healthy pinch of salt. But I agree, Gary, this is a complex issue. Crashing the diamond industry will only move the 'blood' from diamonds to another 'commodity'.
     
  15. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Jan 6, 2010
    Kimberly and the laws backing it up work to the extent that no one wants to get there hands caught in the blood diamond jar and has made the risks much higher for anyone dealing in them.

    That has driven them deeper underground.

    I think that the issue of exploitative mining and blood diamonds are separate issues with different solutions.
    It seems to me that corrupt governments is the real problem.
    That is one reason a political solution like Kimberley by itself is not a 100% solution to the problem as it can be corrupted by the same forces as seen in these reports.
    But by careful selection and dealings the vast majority of problem diamond rough can be avoided.
     
    


    


  16. denverappraiser
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    by denverappraiser » Jan 6, 2010
    Dmitri,

    I suppose it’s true that if you don’t buy diamonds at all, you won't be buying a ‘blood’ diamond and I even agree that this is the only 100% certain approach. This is also true for oil, lumber, housing, medicine, food, clothing and EVERY other product or service you might consider buying. If people engage in commerce of any kind, there’s the possibility of unscrupulous people in the supply chain and if they don’t, everyone starves except the farmers (who will freeze to death in the dark). A more practical solution is to shop carefully and let your suppliers know that price is not your only criteria in making your selection. Demand transparency and insist on social and environmentally responsible practices to the extent that you can. Although Kimberley is far short of perfect, it' a good step in this direction and a reported 1% failure rate by their harshest critics is actually a pretty good record. I agree with Karl above that government corruption is the heart of the problem and a 99% success rate on that, even in the best of countries, would be a glorious accomplishment.

    Neil Beaty
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    Professional Appraisals in Denver
     
  17. Todd Gray
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    by Todd Gray » Jan 6, 2010
    This is so true. Living in the lumber town of Roseburg, Oregon provides an interesting perspective with regards to consumable products and the emotion stirred by use. Take all the commotion caused by the spotted owl a few years back... Local legend is that the whole "save the spotted owl" movement was started by the owner of a large lumber conglomerate here in Oregon in an effort to squeeze smaller competitors out of business... His operations were large enough and his political affiliations strong enough that his operations were not affected, but practically all of the smaller operations were put out of business by the regulators.

    I recently watched a documentary on Wal-Mart called "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" and the section focusing on their treatment of "employees" (essentially deemed as slave labor by the film maker) provides insight into what would be appalling work conditions by U.S. standards if the documentary is accurate. I wonder how many people would stop spending money at Wal-Mart if such a documentary were aired by 20/20 or a similar show with the same degree of intent which has been focused upon the diamond industry by the media and Hollywood? Would Americans stop shopping at Wal-Mart if they realized that by shopping at a store which (allegedly) exploits their overseas workers and forces them to live in slum-like conditions and work 20 hour days for very meager wages? Or would they continue to support Wal-Mart''s (alleged) unethical, inhumane, approach to mass production and marketing in favor of saving a few bucks? The question is hypothetical, I already know the answer because the parking lot of our local Wal-Mart was packed this past Christmas season while the smaller Mom & Pop stores in our area were practically devoid of shoppers and this video was released in 2005.

    The ethical challenges which effect the diamond business, effect practically every other business where profit is apt to be made. Oil, precious metals, food, water, consumables... There are ethical and unethical people and practices in every trade. I like to believe that the majority of people working in these industries are ethical people who make an effort to produce a quality product by means which are humane and just - however I am enough of a realist to know that there are some real scum bags out there.

    By the way, I don''t shop at Wal-Mart, I think they, uh, suck [​IMG]
     
  18. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 6, 2010
    Sorry, where are you guys getting 1%.

    You may not agree with the new purported data, but things seem to be changing, and despite the fact that it may be we were never in Kansas...it seems clear we are not in Kansas anymore. Please refer to the link posted yesterday, where I quote:

    -------------------------

    "The sordid business of blood diamonds was believed to have ended with the adoption in 2003 of the Kimberley Process, a UN-sanctioned agreement between 75 countries that import and export diamonds, diamond industry leaders and nongovernmental organizations. ....

    When controversy was stoked anew in 2006 with the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Blood Diamond, the industry simply pointed to the existence of the Kimberley Process to convince moviegoers that conflict diamonds were an old problem that had already been solved.



    Unfortunately, that's not the case. In theory, all countries that are signatory to the Kimberley Process agree not to import or export conflict diamonds; the origins of the diamonds are "verified" through a set of simple-sounding procedures. Producing countries export their diamonds in tamper-proof packages accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing that the stones did not come from conflict zones (this assumes that robust internal controls exist in producing countries). The Kimberley Process monitors compliance through peer reviews, statistical analysis and site visits; countries found to be in violation of the agreement can be expelled or suspended, meaning they can no longer export their diamonds to any of the agreement's member countries.



    The reality is different. According to recent reports by NGOs, including Global Witness, Partnership Africa Canada and Human Rights Watch, blood diamonds are still circulating freely and smuggling remains rampant. Some of the worst countries in the diamond business, such as Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can't account for where as many as 50 percent of the diamonds they export originate, making their status as clean gems highly questionable. Meanwhile, Cote d'Ivoire, the only country considered to be the source of "official" conflict diamonds due to rebel control of its northern diamond mines, has expanded its production since it was placed under UN sanction in 2004, meaning the rebels are finding willing markets for them somewhere.



    Not only does the Kimberley Process in its present form seem powerless to stop conflict diamonds, but its policies may even be encouraging the illegal trade to flourish. "A lot of governments have been happy to use the Kimberley Process as a fig leaf of respectability, so they can say, ‘OK, look we're doing something,'" says Elly Harrowell of Global Witness, one of the NGOs that first raised the issue of conflict diamonds a decade ago. "A lot of people, especially in the public, seem to think it's case closed."

    --------------------------

    Solutions on the ground for the consumer have been proposed by my friends here that they ask for good documentation on where their diamonds are really coming from.

    Objections Garry has knowledgeably raised includes the pattern in which things flow through is streamlined, and the processes for "pulling out groups of diamonds," so that we do know more narrowly where each and every come from would gum up the process.

    Although I do not propose a solution that puts those two ideas above together, I will tell you I see that these two ideas to not cohabit easily together...and without the concept for a solution in place...it is easy to not be happy.

    Suggestions for making shoppers happy are sought.

     
  19. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jan 6, 2010
    Ira the various NGO''s that monitor and criticize weakness in the KP have been remiss in any attempts to quantify conflict diamonds that cross borders and find their way into the shipments from ''clean'' nations.
    They play the role of critics without seemingly contributing to improving systems.
    KP is soft law - it is not a 100% policed system, but this, along with the Responsable Jewellery Council which is now beginning the set up of 3rd party auditing, shows the industry does take these issues seriously. As an early member of the RJC, I can also sadly report that many in the industry are ho hum because they think we already did all that is needed.
    Of course the problems are well beyond control, just as USA can not stop people growing opium in Afganistan, or cocaine in Columbia.
     
  20. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 6, 2010
    Despite this pessimism, I hear the elements of the necessary efforts to make repair may be in place.

    Earlier in this thread, it seems documented that even some Pricescope vendors can track backwards the source of their diamonds...so this is an available option for consumers...if they wish to demand this.

    Writers in this thread have suggested consumers do demand it, and the author of the recently forwarded article recommend the same.

    The Pricescope universe is kinda small...as it goes....and your earlier noted skepticism concerning even the majority of readers here is duly noted.

    But, to the extent there is an un-repaired actuality of blood diamonds that does become known, and systems of auditing, as you say, are brought forward so that ciphering sources can be done...I see no reason not to be optimistic about gaining control.

    But it is up to us.

    First, readers here...and everywhere.

    And consistent with this, the vendors here, who should try to come to grips with the extent of their current actual knowledge...as a first step...and then, make plans to modify their sources .... at least for those particular customers who should be so specifically demanding for same...so that the system is indeed squeezed to do better.

    Doesn''t this sound right?
     
  21. Jim Summa
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    by Jim Summa » Jan 6, 2010
    I wish there was a quick and easy answer for all of the issues that come with being a jeweler and finding products that are not exploiting people. One thing I can promise you is that responsible jewelers want to be happy just as much as responsible consumers do. Nobody wants the money they earn or pay to change hands in a way that it ever supports hardship or misery of any kind. I believe Neil hits the nail on the head.
     
  22. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 6, 2010
    Jim, I'll go ahead and shoot myself in the foot here, and report from the limited info I have been able to pick-up both a) from this thread, and also through b) casual research, that, by either luck or purpose, you are one of the guys that can offer your customers options for which you are able to identify the diamond's sources.

    The question to me is...what useful ways can we push the envelope.

    I gather that a complication is the combination of real problems with the ethical dimension, coincident with an economy in crisis, so that there is not easily extra moneys to feed the beast.

    I see your memberships (or at least your links) on this page. I personally have joined the Madison Dialogues, to learn more about options...and understand they are cued in, but also, not too active, maybe. Most of their web page seems to have gone quiet, at least just now.

    To you, and to Neil who you credit with hitting the nail on the head...what can we each do further...to push the envelope. As consumers, and vendors, and appraisers.

    Specifically.
     
  23. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jan 6, 2010
    No Ira:


    The trouble is that the vast majority of pristine ''clean'' diamonds come from places like Canada and Australia. There is no benefication to third world countries.

    One of my main suppliers (Indian) does indeed provide such a tracking service - but frankly unless i knew the stone came from a RIO or BHP mine in a 3rd world country I am philosophically opposed to implimenting the required tracking in my own business (which BTW I have the systems for and it costs about $0.01 per stone extra).
     
  24. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 6, 2010
    Might some (and enough) of these options that are trackable...be coming from RIo or BHP?

    If they can be tracked to reliable sourcing...why not constrain that way.



    I know one reason why you may not do this.
    You pick your poison.
    My own personal investments are in the broad market of stocks.
    I''m aware I can invest in a "social investment constraining" fund, to make my investments "cleaner." Right now...I''m not doing that. I realize that when you constrain, you limit.

    Of course, you take your shots, about where you wish to discriminate. I haven''t even seen that blood diamonds movie yet, personally, but I think I get what this is about, and that I favor this particular issue be avoided. I too see the advantage in keeping your money in Africa.

    But...I support strategic efforts to gain control, too.
     
  25. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 7, 2010
    Unfortunately, problems with Zimbabwe are continuing, and getting worse.

    If they''ve been given an extended leash by the officials with the Kimberly Process... I think now would be a good enough time to pull it in, and kick them out. Rappaport has already done so. Keeping Zimbabwe as part of the Kimberly accord brings whatever valuable "value added" available to it...down.

    See the linked article from the Financial Times, with a couple of selected paragraphs below:


    "...For the Zimbabwe authorities and producers it is business as usual. Robert Mhlanga, Mbada chairman, said the (newly launched public diamond) auction would be held regularly, with another 300,000 carats to be offered for sale next week.

    ...Aware that its human rights credentials are being tarnished, it is anxious to clean up the diamond fields, but public auction of the diamonds is likely to exacerbate rather than improve the situation."
     
  26. Regular Guy
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    by Regular Guy » Jan 8, 2010
    One step backwards, 1 and 1/2 steps forward...

    The auction that was to be in Zimbabwe has been cancelled...

    No doubt, due to public pressure....and their stated desire to be in compliance with the Kimberly Process.

    See the link.
     
  27. Garry H (Cut Nut)
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    by Garry H (Cut Nut) » Jan 8, 2010

    For the latest in sillyness, try using this search criteria on youtube


    "conflict diamonds African Diamond Council"


    A classic attempt to shoot yourself in the foot. It could be a very successful wounding. But it would be hard to comprehend how this could add any value since it is so very difficult to buy a diamond from Africa that has 100% provable provenance.


    On the site http://www.africandiamondcouncil.org/index.php?menu=1


    The text in the lower mid part of the home page could just as easily have role reversal and perhaps be more factual. Conspiracy theory and clearly pointing the bone at De Beers is easy to do, but perhaps people in glass houses should not be throwing stones (shooting diamonds?). Here is a list of the member countries:
    Angola
    Botswana
    Cen. African Rep.
    Cote d''Ivoire
    Rep. of Congo
    Dem. Rep. of Congo
    Ghana
    Guinea
    Lesotho
    Liberia
    Namibia
    Sierra Leone
    South Africa
    Swaziland
    Tanzania
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe
    Here is a ranking of corrupt countries
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

    Hard to take any organisation seriously that allows Zimbabwae as a member.

     
  28. diagem
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    by diagem » Jan 10, 2010
    Totally...

    And if I may add this weeks Chaim''s memo: "Diamonds in the Morgue"

    Here is the link to the memo:

    http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullEditorial.asp

     
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